March Brings Film Festivals Galore

The Byron Bay International Film Festival is open to films of all lengths and all genres. All films entered will automatically be considered for nomination in any award categories that the film might qualify for during the selection process. BBFF awards include but are not limited to Best Film, Documentary, Short Film, Drama, Cinematography, Surf Film, Animation, Experimental Film, Environmental Film, Music Video, Best Young Australian Filmmaker (open to Australian Director’s under 25) and an award for the Best Local Film. Normally submissions are handled via the website or email inquiries can be sent to: [email protected]. The Red Carpet Festival Opener is Tony Benn: Will & Testament, a feature-length documentary about the late British political firebrand, socialist and tireless fighter against privilege and injustice filmed over the last two years of his life.

BBFF2015 will host innovative figures in the film industry for workshops, panels and networking events focusing on the art and business of film. Typical of this is the March 7 event, Magic Happens in The Dark: A Filmmakers view of Festivals, where a panel will share their emotional and professional journey onto and around the International Film Festival circuit. Submission tactics and reactions to dismissals or acceptances will be discussed, as will the much coveted final screening. Another free panel on March 8, At Your Own Risk: How Far Will A Director Go To Make A Film?, a panel of filmmakers will discuss the considerable hurdles they have faced in production that require a fine balance of judgment and diplomacy, like shooting hazardous events, dealing in sensitive content and finding themselves in illegal situations. For March 15, an exploration of the ABC Open: Makers and Creators Project will show how to storyboard, shoot and edit a short video then publish it on the ABC ( with the new ABC Open Makers and Creators project. ABC Open Producer Jeff Licence offers insights to develop storytelling skills and get involved in making videos. The theme for the video is Makers and Creators.

In other special events, BBFF2015 has invited actor David Wenham, of “Pirates Of The Caribbean 5” fame, for a special presentation about his latest film, Force Of Destiny, set for March 7 with the Director Paul Cox in attendance as well. Audiences will have a sneak preview at some of the film’s scenes before the film premieres at Melbourne International Film Festival. The Festival’s ongoing “Experimental” category will showcase the cutting-edge of film as art at a free session presented in a “gallery” format. Approximately 20 films from across the globe will be screened on March 12. Another Red Carpet Gala Party on March 14 precedes the festival close on March 15 with a screening of Zen and the Art of Dying, the closing night highlight made by BBFF Alumni Filmmaker Broderick Fox.

Entertainment Finance Forum was conceived and produced by conference operator specializing in film finance conferences, Winston Baker, to provide insight to equity and debt financiers on investment opportunities, challenges and strategies for increased upside as they relate to film, TV and innovations in the digital space. The forum also offers workshops and sessions for producers and innovators looking for effective approaches to fundraising, marketing, distribution, and profitability.

The notable speaking faculty features some of the industry’s most seasoned executives and financiers, award-winning producers, and the newest innovators. Keynote speakers will include leading industry executives and active investors such as James Moore, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vine Alternative Investments, who recently announced the closing of the company’s third fund focused on investments in film, television, and entertainment assets with over $500 million of capital commitments. EuropaCorp Chief Executive Officer Christophe Lambert and Schuyler Moore, Partner, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP will also serve as keynotes.

In addition to insightful keynotes, the Los Angeles forum will host workshops on film and TV finance, crowdfunding and production incentives. Featured panel discussions will address: Equity Evolved: Approaches to Smarter Money, Distribution Disrupted: Emerging Independent Platforms, Television Redefined: New Business Models and Revenue Streams, Getting in on the Action of the Big Gaming Industry, Racing for the Gold Rush: Taking Mobile Apps from Development to Market.

Over the three day forum that closes March 11, day one workshops will include: Capitalizing on Crowdfunding, Navigating and Monetizing Production Incentives, Fundamentals of Film Finance, TV Finance 101. Day two workshops are: State of the Industry: The Future of the Big Screen, Equity Evolved: Approaches to Smarter Money, Sky’s the Limit: Sourcing the Capital Stack for Single Picture Deals, Distribution Disrupted: Emerging Independent Platforms, Measurable and Engaging Approaches to Brand Funded Programming, Television Redefined: Shifting Business Models and New Revenue Streams. Day three workshops are: Getting in on the Action of the Big Gaming Industry, Ctrl Alt Delete: Music Rebooted, 360 Degree Marketing: Utilizing the Digital Angle to Increase Returns, Racing for the Gold Rush: Taking Mobile Apps from Development to Market.

Cartoomics Movies Comics Games, a pop culture convention, is in Milano.

Like Comic-Con in San Diego and Supanova Pop Culture in Melbourne, Cartoomics Movies Comics Games shapes up as the Milano version of these popular pop culture destinations. This three day event showcases products like comics, movies, cartoon, video games, collectibles, to that of fantasy based products and services. Operation Fear Film Festival presents, in collaboration with Cartoomics 2015, the latest film by director Ivan Zuccon. A screening will be given March 15, the result of a Italian-American co-production effort, and has in its cast two scream queens well known to fans of Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman – Tiffany Shepis and Debbie Rochon. Like other pop culture conventions, one of the more popular events will be the Cosplay contest. The Cosplay competition starts on opening day with the Light Cosplay Contest, a small parade dedicated to cosplayer that, in addition to free admission, will parade onto a stage to sufficiently display the creations from the Cosplay competitors.

Day two of Cartoomics’ Cosplay competition will be the presenting of the Cinecosplay Award, awarded to a cosplayer whose dress is inspired solely to the world of film, TV series and feature film animation. On the final day, hundreds of cosplayers, made up of groups and couples, will perform to show an assembled audience their creations, presided over by an international jury. For Star Wars fans, the large area dedicated to Star Wars in the Sci-Fi Area of Cartoomics 2015 this year will turn into the desert planet of Tatooine, one of the locations most beloved by fans of the saga. In addition to scenes depicting environments on the planet will be exhibited numerous themed props, many of which have never been exhibited before and were made ​​specifically for the Milano event. There will be members of the two Legions: the 501st Italica Garrison and the Rebel Legion Italian Base (the only two groups of Italian Star Wars costuming approved by Lucasfilm). Costumed groups will be available for photographs and interactions with visitors both before and during official parades.

Annual South By Southwest (SXSW) happens in Austin.

SXSW is arguably the highest profile event of the month, encompassing three major topic areas: music, film and interactive tech. SXSW Music is a large festival with more than 2,200 official performers and bands playing in more than 100 venues. The festival offers artist-provided music and video samples of featured artists on their official YouTube channel. SXSW Film focuses on new directing talent. SXSW Interactive is focused on emerging technology, and the festival includes a trade show, speakers, parties, and a startup accelerator. There are also official Welcome Events to get things started at SXSW. Attendees can open their SXSW experience by enjoying food, drink and networking. Film, Interactive, Platinum and Gold registrants can sign on for the BBQ Crash Course or the Film and Interactive Taco Meet Up on March 13. Platinum and Music registrants have the opportunity to attend the Music Taco Meetup on March 20 or the Music Mixer on March 18. South by Southwest is run by the company SXSW, Inc. which plans and executes conferences, trade shows, festivals, and other events.

This year the SXSW Job Market is presented by Publicis Groupe and is open to the public March 13-14 with free Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or onsite at the event. Visit for more information. The 29th annual South By Southwest Closing Barbecue and Softball Tournament, the traditional closing social event of the SXSW week, runs from 12:30-17:30 on March 22. The accompanying SXSW Barbecue serves up an authentic Texas spread with all the trimmings (vegetarian options as well), prepared by local Ruby’s BBQ, plus beer, water, and soft drinks. SXSW hosts acts in every stage of their development, including music legends such as Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, LL Cool J, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Depeche Mode. Sonicbids is the exclusive online musical event application platform for the way SXSW handles showcase inquiries. Programming offered by the three festivals (Music, Film, Interactive) is a vast offering. Following, is a paragraph by paragraph roundup of selected highlights captured from each individual festival. Film submission inquiries to SXSW are done through the website at this link: Inquiries about speaking opportunities must go through SXSW PanelPicker page ( for more information.

SXSW opens with Interactive, running March 13-17. Featured Sessions at Interactive showcase reveals the innovative thinkers of the field. Charlene Li, Altimeter Group, leads a session to look at how leaders can use technology to listen, share, and engage with employees and customers, at scale. Google’s Eric Schmidt joins Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and The Innovators, and Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, discuss the role of collaboration and the iterative nature of progress in all the major innovations of the digital age. At a fireside chat, Mashable’s Pete Cashmore will cover how technology, social media and the explosion of digital have will affect the world’s consumption habits, business models and the way we live. In an interview, Kevin from KROQ’s Kevin and Bean show has, A Conversation with Jimmy Kimmel, where Kimmel will share how he got his start, show highlights from some of his favorite moments, and delve into his work as the host and executive producer of his show.

SXSW’s Film Festival segment goes from March 13-21. A conference is part of the program covering a breadth of topics, from digital release strategies, to filmmaking techniques, production, and casting. Some of the vital segments of the film area will be Keynotes consisting of 20 minute one-on-one moderated interviews with three different insiders; mentor sessions that offer attendees one-on-one interaction with industry experts and creative game changers; Future15s that are three high energy, fifteen-minute sessions packed into one hour, structured for informativeness and focus; the Featured Sessions that also include the Conversation series with iconic filmmakers, actors and industry leaders moderated by a noted journalist, academic or fellow creative; workshops covering the latest trends in the industry, providing practical knowledge and inspiration in the form of hands-on experience; mentor sessions that offer attendees one-on-one interaction with industry experts and creative game changers. An offshoot of Film, SXSW Comedy, presents showcases, live recordings, conversations, improvisations, and late night parties. Wristband holders also welcome to all SXSW Comedy events at Esther’s Follies, The Hideout, and The North Door.

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference runs March 17-22. At day there are the panels, talks, the Trade Show, Music Gear Expo and other conference activities at the Austin Convention Center. Panel topics cover everything from touring to releasing your own music to practically every aspect of the music business. SXSW hosts networking opportunities, career-building conference programming and over 100 stages of music for showcasing bands and conference attendees. At night attendees are treated to musical performances from over 2,200 regional, national and international acts taking place at the SXSW Music Festival. SXSW Music Festival showcases occur at over 100 venues throughout downtown Austin. How could anyone know if their favorite band or musical artist is performing this year at SXSW? This linked page () is a breakdown of music rvents sorted by Name on Any Day limited to Showcase. Something to know about the city of Austin is it’s official slogan as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” attributed to the many nightclubs on 6th Street district. The concentration of restaurants, bars, and music venues in the city’s downtown core designates its zip code as encompassing the downtown entertainment district hosts the most bar or alcohol-serving establishments in the U.S.A.

The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market – also known as FILMART – is a four day film and entertainment market from March 23, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). FILMART focuses on the needs of professionals in areas such as distribution, production and acquisition of film, TV programmes, animation, digital entertainment, games, production and post-production services, shooting locations, film commissions, film festivals, film insurance and film financing.

The convention was formed to promote Hong Kong as a regional hub for distribution and production of film, TV programs and entertainment-related products in Asia pacific and to promote cross-media, cross-businesses partnerships. The convention projects itself through a range of exhibit categories, including: finance, film insurance, entertainment-related professional services. film and entertainment festivals/fairs organizers, artist management, cinema operation and management, production and post-production services, pre-production and shooting locations mandated by film commissions, distribution, production and acquisition of film, TV programmes, animation, digital entertainment/games, to list a few areas.

The 13th Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) is a marquee area at the convention, happening March 23-25. The HAF brings Asian filmmakers with upcoming film projects to Hong Kong for co-production ventures with film financiers, producers, investors, distributors and buyers. 25-30 projects are selected annually to participate in the three-day event.

TV World 2015 will be in its ninth edition as co-located trade platform with a variety of TV-related business sectors along with FILMART. TV World has set up pavilions covering related sectors, including film, TV, animation, digital entertainment, short films, equipment, post-production and location shooting. A key event here is the International Forum with a panel sharing insights on the development and opportunities in the TV sector. Two anticipated special events of TV World 2015 will be the TV World Opening Ceremony and the TV World International Forum.

Convention organizer the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is a statutory body established in 1966 as the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers. The organisation has more than 40 offices around the world, including 13 on the Chinese mainland. The HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia, with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. The events blog also shows links to pages that are translated into ten of the most widely used international languages read over the Internet other than English. This month’s photo placement displays the South by Southwest convention logo which will be happening in Austin from March 13-22 and the Cartoomics Movies Comics Games pop culture convention in Milano. If the photo does not appear in this post please visit the blog page to view it. Looking ahead into the next month be aware that: Seventh Annual TV and Film Finance Forum will be in New York City, NAB Show 2015 is in Las Vegas, 2015 Florida Film Festival is in Maitland, WonderCon Anaheim 2015 comic and pop culture convention is in Anaheim, MusExpo 2015 will be in Hollywood, Supanova Pop Culture Expo will be in Melbourne, Mipdoc/Miptv will be in Cannes, AppsWorld: TV and Multi-screen will be in Berlin.